upstate economy

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

As the number of people living downtown continues to grow, so does the need for a grocery store in the neighborhood. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., says he can help lure one to the central business district.

Schumer says the heads of major chains will listen to him. He's reaching out to a number of chains, like Tops and Whole Foods, to try to convince them to locate downtown.

Many officials and residents say that as the neighborhood become more residential, a place to buy groceries is needed.

messycupcakes / Flickr

New York-based yogurt company Chobani has registered its company in Delaware. Chobani says it’s not going anywhere, but it’s increased rumors the company is going public.

Chobani's headquarters is in Norwich, in Chenango County and it's factory is in New Berlin. But for tax purposes, the company is now a resident of Delaware.

Many corporations call Delaware their home on paper, because the state has more lenient corporate policies than others. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Downtown Syracuse could gain a grocery store in the near future, thanks to a market from a different part of town.

The Syracuse Real Food Co-op has been a fixture of the University area neighborhood for four decades. And business has been good.

"We do way higher, like four-times, the industry standard for sales-per-square feet. We are literally busting at the seams," said Syracuse Real Food Co-Op General Manager Jeremy DeChario.

Their small space makes growing any more nearly impossible, he said, but the grocery store has set its sights on downtown.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There's another $1 million in the recently passed state budget for upstate New York's new drone testing program, which means the site now has enough funding to get through at least its first year of operations.

$1.2 billion offer for Remington Arms on the table

Mar 13, 2014
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There's a $1.2 billion offer on the table to purchase gun maker Remington Arms, and even though Remington's owner has been looking for a buyer, it reportedly isn't taking this one seriously.

Remington Arms is one of the nation's oldest and largest gun makers in the country. Its factory has been located in the small Mohawk Valley town of Ilion, N.Y. for two centuries. It employs about 1,300 people and reportedly earned about $1.2 billion in revenue to 2013.

After a year of delays and re-writes, Syracuse lawmakers are finally set to vote on a new comprehensive plan for the city.

City planners had been working on the vision for how the city should look in 2040 for two years. Then it went to the council, where lawmakers had a lot of questions and proposed changes, which caused them to continually delay voting on it.

NYS Governor's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo led a group of lawmakers on a day-long visit to the Adirondack Park yesterday.

The Adirondack Winter Challenge is part of his administration's $60 million effort, launched last year, to boost upstate tourism. The event was also designed to build support in Albany for state-run tourism sites that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year to operate.

The day’s big photo op comes with Andrew Cuomo climbing on a sleek snowmobile, surrounded by snowy woods under a brilliant blue sky.

"Want to find which is the fastest," he says.

hectate1 / via Flickr

New York state transportation planners have opened the discussion about the best way to speed up train travel through upstate New York.

Passenger trains running between Buffalo and New York City right now run at about 50 miles per hour and are often slowed more by competing freight train traffic.

New York in the World

Feb 13, 2014

Join us Sunday, February 16 for an encore presentation of New York in the World. This documentary brings you stories of union workers in Buffalo, fashion designers in New York City, and farmers in the Finger Lakes - all talking about how they've found a place amid today's new economic realities.

From Niagara Falls to Long Island, from the North Country to the Southern Tier, Upstate, Downstate... we are nearly twenty million.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Mayor Stephanie Miner is putting together a task force to consider the community and economic impacts of a new sports arena in the city of Syracuse. The mayor put the issue, which has had the town buzzing in recent weeks, in her annual State of the City speech.

"I am neither in favor of a stadium nor against a stadium, but there has to be a process where people can get their questions answered," Miner said.

The mayor says building a new stadium, to potentially replace the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University, is a huge decision that should be made together.

Entrepreneurs in Oswego County could have their dreams of owning a business come true by competing in the third "Next Great Idea" business plan competition.

Austion Wheelock, economic developer for Operation Oswego County, says the competition helps establish a culture of entrepreneurism and brings jobs and business to the area.

Clinic taking steps toward financial health

Jan 13, 2014
Joanna Richards

A clinic in Watertown that serves many needy children is taking steps toward better financial health after nearly closing abruptly in October.

Somali Community in Western New York

The desire for familiar food, clothing, and other products from home is spurring refugee communities in upstate New York to start their own businesses. In response, a group in Rochester has organized a six-week startup business training course to help the Somali refugee community navigate the process.

“They can actually create their own little local economy where they can exchange, similar to what they had in Somalia,” says David Dey, president and CEO of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship.

Some rights reserved by Tonu Mauring

Think of a large thermos, large enough to put a family in. That’s a passive house. Passive houses are buildings that rely on their construction, insulation, and the environment to heat them in winter and cool them in summer.

They’re popular in Europe, but there are only a handful of them in the U.S. and one of them belongs to a family in upstate New York, who are getting ready to take on their first winter in their passive home.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A new dairy processing facility under construction in Cayuga County plans to make most of its money on the export market and its owners are hoping trade rule changes don’t hinder that.

An $80 million dairy facility going up in Auburn plans to sell powdered milk to countries in Asia and North Africa, but current trade rules with some of those countries could make exporting their products difficult.

Work begins on Watertown's Woolworth building

Dec 5, 2013
Joanna Richards

Work has begun to revive a long-vacant eyesore at the center of downtown Watertown.

Chris Caya / WBFO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced a $225 million state investment to create a new campus center of clean-energy on a former brownfield site in Buffalo.

The RiverBend project will create 850 new jobs at the former Republic Steel and Donner Hanna Coke site in south Buffalo along the city’s waterfront as part of the governor's "Buffalo Billion" promise.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how the thousands of refugees coming to upstate New York are weaving their way into the region's economy.

Turnout may be low this night because of first snow, Nicole Watts tells those gathered in her entryway. Even as she tries to explain this, there's a near steady knock on the front door.

Every Tuesday evening, this home at 129 Lilac Street on Syracuse's Northside turns into a community center.

Cameron Group, LLC.

The construction of a new college bookstore on the Syracuse University Hill is in danger of losing its tax break if construction doesn’t start in the next month.

The university and the developer it selected, Cameron Group, won over Syracuse’s city council and industrial development agency (SIDA) for approval of the deal in August 2012.

But since shovels still haven’t broken ground on the project a year later, the city’s economic development agency this week voted the project in default of its contract. The developer has another 30 days to begin work.

Stop I-81 Pipeline Group

Homeowners along an abandoned gas line across three central New York counties are getting advice about how to deal with gas companies who may come knocking.

The Millennium Pipeline Company is trying to get federal approval to build a 60-mile pipeline from the town of Onondaga down to the Binghamton area in order to connect several east-west natural gas pipelines. In order to do this, the pipeline company, which is an affiliate of National Grid among other energy companies, will need the help of homeowners.

Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Upstate New York cities take in around 90 percent of all current refugee resettlements in the state. All this week, The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how that diverse population has weaved its way into the region’s changing economy.

In Buffalo, a handful of students from countries all over the world are sitting in a class at Journey’s End Refugee Services. They are learning how to become janitors for local businesses. The group nods as a student explains an assignment to them.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Since 2004, upstate New York has taken 90 percent of all refugee resettlements in the state. This is the first part of the Innovation Trail reporting series looking at how upstate New York's refugee population is influencing the region's economy.

Utica has long seen itself as a city of immigrants. The arrival of Italians, Germans and Irish drove the city’s population to peak at around 100,000. During the mid 1970s in the wake of major changes to the city's industrial base and dwindling employment opportunities, the population fell by nearly half.

Zack Seward / WXXI

A group of suburban politicians and business owners that support keeping Interstate 81 running through the city of Syracuse are out with a poll they say shows most residents agree with them.

State kicks off Startup-NY tax-free program

Oct 23, 2013
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office / via Flickr

New York’s plan to attract new business and jobs to the state by offering them tax-free space at public colleges is underway. Officials Tuesday outlined for the first time specifics about how the program will work.

They tried to lay out the plan as simply as possible:

"There’s no fine print. There’s no trips and traps, caveats; there’s no taxes," said Executive Vice President of Startup-NY Leslie Whatley in a conference call with reporters.

Lockheed Martin / via Flickr

Workers at Lockheed Martin sites in central New York and the Southern Tier are being hit with another round of layoffs, but the company says the move is not tied to the government shutdown that just ended.

A total of 600 workers across the country will be out of a job early next month, according to the defense contractor.

Google Maps

Some abandoned prisons in the upstate area could become home to start-up companies under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Start-Up New York initiative.

The initiative aims to provide major incentives for companies to relocate, develop, or significantly expand in New York by offering state and local tax-free zones on university and college campuses.

baristaj9 / Flickr

Three upstate wineries have come together to create an import-export company designed to increase Finger Lakes wine sales in Europe. The new company, called New York Wines, will be registered in Belgium and the partners are hoping it will help to increase sales at home as well as abroad.

John Martini, president of one of the vineyards, the Anthony Road Wine Company, says the costs associated with overseas shipping can be prohibitive for a single winery. But shipping produce from several wineries in bulk makes it cheaper at both ends, he says.

Upscale hotel coming to Syracuse's Inner Harbor

Oct 4, 2013
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

An upscale hotel chain has signed on as the first tenant in the redevelopment of Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced Thursday that will build an $18 million, 130 room "Aloft" hotel at the former barge canal, as part of a larger redevelopment of the now rarely used site.

In all, COR Development is working on a $350 million overhaul of the site. It plans more commercial and residential space.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

While the focus has been on the partial federal government shut down, another important piece of legislation, the federal farm bill, has also expired.

New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton said this is the third time in three years he’s seen negotiations go down to the wire and beyond on farm legislation that regulates crop subsidies, milk prices, and nutrition programs.

"It’s like déjà vu all over again," Norton said in a statement.

Another anti-gambling group has released a study debunking Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature’s claims about the benefits of permitting more casino gambling in New York.  So far opponents have been more vocal than supporters about the November 5 ballot referendum.